The Touring Car Masters presented by Autobarn evolved out of Historic Group N racing and, since its category debut in 2007, has rapidly grown to become one of Australia’s premier racing categories, and a popular V8 Supercar support class. Evoking the glory days of Australian Touring Car racing, the Touring Car Masters showcases some of the sport’s most iconic muscle cars with a selection of immaculately prepared touring cars of the pre-1976 era. As such, the Touring Car Masters has vast appeal with a fan base that bridges all walks of life and spans generations, inspiring the passion of motoring enthusiasts, race fans and drivers.
Since 2007, the Touring Car Masters has successfully improved its package and relevance, both to spectators and as a support category V8 Supercars in each year.
Continuing to go from strength to strength, it is now a successful, highly-competitive, affordable and commercially-viable category. Differentiating itself from traditional Historic racing, the Touring Car Masters pioneered an entirely new class of racing by introducing innovative technical regulations to improve safety, reliability and on-track entertainment while maintaining the visual appeal of its period race cars.
With the introduction of a new two-litre class, the series now consists of three Championship Groups.
Crowning three series champions for the first time in 2010, the series also recognises and rewards the three class winners, the Best Presented and Hard Charger from each race meeting.
This allows opportunity for acknowledgement and exposure to be shared among of a greater number of competitors throughout the season.
The Touring Car Masters enjoys broad nationwide exposure as a result of being a V8 Supercar support category. The V8 Supercar series is the country’s premier motorsport category, and is more popular than Formula One in Australia – (only two markets in the world show this, the other being NASCAR in the United States).
On average, more than 123,000 people attended each of the 14 events in the 2009 season for a total crowd attendance of 1,731,042. National exposure on Channel 7 resulted in 19 million people watching V8 Supercars on television in 2008.
As a leading support category, the Touring Car Masters subsequently offers direct and affordable access to V8 Supercar audiences who, according to the following demographic information, are largely male, 25+ years with a considerable proportion from household incomes exceeding $80,000 per annum.
In recent years we have seen a difficult economic environment for motor sport categories. In Australia the second national series collapsed, Porsche Cup failed twice, while MINI Challenge and the V8 Supercar Fujitsu feeder series’ numbers fell substantially.
From a standing start in the 2007 season with 22 licences, we saw an increase of 36% for 2008 to start with 30 licences and then grew another 23% to start 2009 season with 37 licences. We are currently negotiating with numerous parties in a plan to start the 2010 season with no less than 40 licence holders.